Animal Welfare Policy

Animal Welfare Policy

WHSmith is a leading global travel retailer for news, books and convenience. We operate in 30 countries through more than 1,000 retail units in airports, railway stations, hospitals, motorway service stations. WHSmith sells convenience foods, travel accessories, books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, entertainment products, confectionery and health and beauty items. 

We are committed to using responsibly sourced raw materials, and we believe that no animal should suffer unnecessarily in the production of any of the products we sell. Where animal-derived materials are used in any of our products, we require our suppliers to adhere to the animal welfare standards set out in this policy.

This policy applies to products sourced by companies operating under the WHSmith group structure including our franchise operations This policy is part of our wider sustainable business programme.

Food Lines
For our own-brand food lines, suppliers must be able to demonstrate the provenance back to the farm of any raw materials sourced from animals. We expect our suppliers to adopt high standards of animal welfare throughout the entire supply chain, and to adopt industry best practice standards for rearing, transportation and slaughter based on the internationally recognised Five Freedoms for animal welfare: 1. Freedom from hunger and thirst; 2. Freedom from discomfort; 3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease; 4. Freedom to express normal behaviour; and 5. Freedom from fear and distress. Any meat, poultry, or egg products used in our own-brand food lines will be sourced from suppliers who adhere to defined animal welfare standards.

Non-Food Lines
For any non-food lines sold in our stores, no animals should be slaughtered specifically to produce products; any animal material used must be a by-product of the meat industry, and not originate from animals caught in the wild. The supplier must be able to provide information on the name of the species of animal used (both common and scientific name) and the country of origin from where the animal was derived.

The following materials must not be used:

  • Materials derived from any endangered or threatened species, including those protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (see,or those appearing as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) red list (
  • Real fur and pelts, including angora and other rabbit hair.
  • Ivory, bone, horn, shell and teeth.
  • Feathers, down, fibres and hair from the live plucking of birds or animals. Synthetic alternatives are encouraged.
  • Leather and hides must not be obtained whilst the animal is alive or from aborted animals, and should only be sourced as a by-product of the meat trade. These materials should not be obtained from animals caught in the wild.
  • Beauty and household products should not be tested on animals, unless products are also sold through other retailers and / or testing is required to comply with local market regulations.

Marketing and Advertising
Any animal imagery featured on products or in advertising must be sensitive to animal welfare issues.

Approved by the WH Smith PLC Board: March 2022